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Thread: The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds

  1. #1
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds

    It is my contention that the mentality of this city hurts the ball club. This town has a very loyal and hard working mentality. They tend to overlook several key flaws as long as someone fits that mentality. I look back at the 13 years of bungledom and see that what changed the culture of the club was an outsider coming in and shaking things up.

    I think it is a sad state when the media belives that the reds are better off than Norris Hopper. I am willing to bet that if you asked most reds fans who their favorite reds player over the past 10 years was you top three would be Jr., Freel, and Casey. You have a fan base who will cheer Freel if he is thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double but will boo Jr. if they dont think he runs fast enough down to first base or when he rips apart his shoulder diving for a ball. Too often this town is looking for the next Pete Rose and fails to see the star they have in front of their own eyes.

    I went to school at OSU and noticed a different mentality up there, it was a just win mentality. I remember looking back at some of the old buckeye teams that were loaded with talent but never won. That was the ultimate demise of John Cooper. I find it ironic that most people consider the 99 season a successful season. They speak highly of a season in which the reds were on the outside looking in at the playoffs.

    I think the casual fan has a lot to do with the direction the club has gone over the past 10+ years. IMO the casual fan would rather see Freel or even Hopper play in the outfield that Dunn. The casual fan would rather see a good person play over a more talented person. The regard hustle over production. They chear Todd Coffey when he sprints in from the bullpen but complain because Weathers gives up too many hits when he is trying to save a game. I think the average fan still thinks that $4M per season still buys you a superstar. The average fan needs to realize that the big red machine was 30 years ago and they are not coming back. They need to quit the former reds updates or we should have drafted this guy instead or should have traded for so and so. They need to try and understand the landscape of baseball nowdays. They need to understand that production should outweight any personal feeling towards a particular player. They need to demand that the front office build a winning club but realize that this doesn't happen over night. They need to quit with these snap decisions and give the team time to rebuild.

    Thanks for letting me vent. If this thread isn't in the right place feel free to move it or close it down.

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  3. #2
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds

    It's an excellent post, and there's a lot of truth in it. Here's a contrarian view, one that I consider sometimes but might not agree with completely:

    What if Wayne is right? What if the answer is not in the athletic young guys with the good numbers that we tend to rate highly, like Kearns, Felipe Lopez, Edwin Encarnacion, etc., but in the Aurilias and Hattebergs who push around the bases until they win the game? What if Freel getting picked off is more disruptive to the other team and more likely to lead to a win than someone else trudging up to the plate, taking their swings and trudging back to the bench without hitting a home run this time?

  4. #3
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds



    Reds management needs to realize that casual fans don't boo a winner. Casual fans will come out to support a winner and will not come out as often to watch a loser. Everything else is secondary.

    BCubb -- I hope you were somewhat exaggerating, but I think you do make a point. Fans want action. Many fans would rather lose 4-3 and have 3 guys thrown out on the bases and a whole bunch of ground ball outs than win 4-3 with 3 walks a grand slam in the 1st inning followed by a parade of strikeouts. Fans cheer for both appreciation and admiration. In the even that they can't cheer for appreciation, they'd at least like something to admire...

    What's interesting is the relationship you mention between hustle & talent.

    The common person can always appreciate hustle. You can empathize because their own life requires it. It's a choice, to hustle or not hustle. It's a "character" issue. Because of that, it absolves the player of responsibility for the outcome. You can't ask any more form a person than that, right? You win some, you lose some, but hustle means at least you're trying. It means you're doing everything within your control to win.

    The common person cannot always appreciate talent. Talent (at least as a perception) is God given. It's not Ryan Freel's fault that he can't hit 40 homers. We might even be a little jealous, or even resentful. If a guy uses his talent to do something great, we attribute that success to his talent, not his character. But when his talent fails him, particularly when it looks like it was absent hustle, well, then we can blame the person. When Dunn strikes out, it's not because he lacks the skill to make contact or judge a pitch properly. It's because he's not trying hard enough.

    Ironically, winning at the professional level takes both talent and hustle. As you point out, the blue collar mentality emphasis the latter, and deemphasizes the former. Ryan Freel is lauded for the "character" that allows him to play at the professional level where he might otherwise fail. Dunn is booed for not "hustling" enough to maximize his talent.

    It's funny to me. These things don't seem to matter as much when you're winning. However, in the absence of wins, fans at least want to think you're trying as hard as you can. The fans shoot themselves in the proverbial foot. Hopefully ownership & management can realize that the fans don't know what's good for them. Occasionally that includes announcers too. Unfortunately, I fear that we might have a GM who is a"casual fan" when it comes to evaluating contribution to winning.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 08-01-2007 at 03:46 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds

    It takes the right blend of talent and hustle to win. You definitely need the talented and gifted players, but you also need to surround them with a little bit of grit and desire. The two, when played off of in the right mix, are usually a recipe for winning. It takes some vision and luck to put the two together.

    Personally, I think this team is, basically, poorly constructed. It's way past time to make some changes cause the current model is never going to get anything done.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds

    Fans would rather overachieving hustle that loses than underachieving talent that loses.

    The problem with this is that the "talent" can turn it around and start winning eventually; the "hustle" can't. It's a horribly gross simplification, but that's the problem in a nutshell.

    In reality, all players have both talent and hustle to varying degrees. But when you start to prioritize hustle over talent, and you build a team that's short on talent, no amount of hustle will make up for that. Eventually, after you lose for the 9th consecutive year, fans become bitter that the talent they do have isn't enough. If only they'd hustle more... You never hear fans complaining the hustle they have isn't talented enough.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds

    I agree that no amount of hustle can make up for lack of ability. I also agree that a lot of fans don't know the difference between hustle and perceived hustle. What I do know is that a little bit of hustle can make up for lack of performance and a glimpse of that from some players, every once in a while, would do wonders for fan perception. I have played with and coached, many a talented athlete, and more than a few talented ones are more than happy to get by on the talent and sometimes look and be a little bit lazy, to say the least.

    From a personal standpoint, I was always accused of not hustling when I played basketball and baseball, simply because my arms and legs were not flying around in 10 different directions when I was playing. I was what you might call, "smooth," and although I may not have looked like I was hustling, I was getting the same job done that the "whirling dervish, Mr. Hustle" was getting done. Just in a different way. I know all about perception. All I had to do to get the coach off my back was to dive after a ball that there was no way in the world that I could get to. For most, that showed "real hustle." For me, it was a waste of energy, but usually effective. It's all about picking your spots and being smart.

    There are certain players who are lazy, and there are certain players who are perceived to be lazy. Those of us with a brain know the difference and can call a "spade" a "spade" when we see it. There are a couple of spades on this Reds team. There are also a couple who are sometimes called a "spade" when in reality, they are not.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

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    Re: The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post

    BCubb -- I hope you were somewhat exaggerating, but I think you do make a point. Fans want action. Many fans would rather lose 4-3 and have 3 guys thrown out on the bases and a whole bunch of ground ball outs than win 4-3 with 3 walks a grand slam in the 1st inning followed by a parade of strikeouts. Fans cheer for both appreciation and admiration. In the even that they can't cheer for appreciation, they'd at least like something to admire...
    It is somewhat of an exaggeration, but I'm willing to allow for the possibility that even when Freel gets picked off, the constant poking, prodding and scrambling means the other team is under constant, wearing stress. We might see the pick-off as an individual event, and a weak OBP made worse, but the pitcher might walk the next batter and give up a run-scoring double. That's a different dynamic from waiting around for a home run, which usually means waiting for a mistake pitch that might not come.

    But really, it's the pitching, pitching, pitching. Find a legitimate closer and Weathers becomes a decent set-up man instead of two-inning closer running on fumes. Find a couple of decent middle relief guys and the starters suddenly get better. Find a decent starter to go with Harang and Arroyo and suddenly the offense is capable of winning more games.

    This is more likely to happen, I think, than getting rid of everyone and using that money to buy better players than the ones you got rid of.

  9. #8
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I went to school at OSU and noticed a different mentality up there, it was a just win mentality. I remember looking back at some of the old buckeye teams that were loaded with talent but never won. That was the ultimate demise of John Cooper. I find it ironic that most people consider the 99 season a successful season. They speak highly of a season in which the reds were on the outside looking in at the playoffs.
    While your overall topic is interesting and worthy of discussion, I think this is a flawed comparison because of the difference between college football and MLB standards of performance.

    An MLB team can win 100 of 162 games, roughly 2/3 of its games, and be the favorite to win the WS.

    A college football team that wins about 2/3 of its games and ends up 8-4 or 9-3 wouldn't have a prayer of getting a BCS bid and would thus have zero chance at a national championship. An Ohio State football coach who won 2/3 of his games would be lucky to keep his job for more than 2 seasons of that level of performance. "Just win" is the absolute measure of success in Columbus. The Reds can lose 1/3 of their games and still be considered successful.
    Last edited by Unassisted; 08-01-2007 at 04:26 PM.

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds

    I'm always a little putt-off by how the general vibe of RZ is to deride and poo-poo the blue-collared "work ethic" nature of the city.

    I know folks say they appricate hustle when it's combined with tallent, but that's not really how it comes off. It's always framed (and in fact, framed this way in the original post) that somehow appricating a visable work ethic is somehow hick-ish and complelty out of touch with the baseball world.

    I don't think the citys blue-collar apprication of hard work and humility has much to do with the state of the ball club at all. In fact, I'd say it has nothing to do with it at all.

    Go to any big baseball city. The highly paid star will get booed for the slightest mistake. The "underdog" who runs hard, plays hard but generally doesn't have much tallent almost always gets cheered and praised. This isn't inherrant to Cincy.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted View Post
    While your overall topic is interesting and worthy of discussion, I think this is a flawed comparison because of the difference between college football and MLB standards of performance.

    An MLB team can win 100 of 162 games, roughly 2/3 of its games, and be the favorite to win the WS.

    A college football team that wins about 2/3 of its games and ends up 8-4 or 9-3 wouldn't have a prayer of getting a BCS bid and would thus have zero chance at a national championship. An Ohio State football coach who won 2/3 of his games would be lucky to keep his job for more than 2 seasons of that level of performance. "Just win" is the absolute measure of success in Columbus. The Reds can lose 1/3 of their games and still be considered successful.
    This was prior to the Tressel arrival and although it is a college town I went to school with a lot of cleveland people and their mindset on sports.

    As for Hustle I think it is greatly overvalued. For example I think hustling can hide quite a few ineffencies. Watch when Hamilton is in CF. You can get a better picture of it when you are at a game. He is a natural athlete but he is also supremely fundamental out there in the field. When you hear someone say "wow he made that look easy" it shows you what type of player they are. I have never once heard anyone say that about Freel. He doesn't make anything look easy but he speed hides a lot of flaws in his game that do show themselves from time to time. He tends to spend a lot of energy and make a lot of plays difficult because of his poor fundamentals. But he looks like he is hustling so most people are ok with that. Another thing I noticed about Freel is that when he bats he ends up on his back foot. This delays him for a precious split second and denies him of several base hits a year. He scoots down the line but if he had proper mechanics he would be even more successful. When an above poster used the word "smooth" that struck a cord with me. Whenever a player looks smooth that is a good thing. Players who make plays look smooth get good jumps on the ball, get in position, and make plays without exerting an too much energy.

    I for one like watching that natural athlete out there. I like watching when players make something difficult look easy. It doesn't matter to me if a runner is hustling down the first base line a la Casey or if a player is jogging down the line when the play results in an out. I like aggressive baseball I just like when it is done the right way. Trying to extend a single into a double is a situation where you have to pick you spots. I think the reds management should give tapes of Larkin to all of their faster players just to watch and learn. I basically like watching good hard baseball. I like watching the angles type of baseball.

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds

    Hustle isn't just running fast to cover bad routes to the ball.

    It includes getting to the ball-park first to hit the batting cage and review tape. It includes spending extra time with the batting instructor when you are in a funk. It includes taking extra in-field practice if needed. It includes hitting the weight room when you'd rather be driving your new Porche.

    I've never figured out why some here don't care for hard work.

    You gotta have the tallent. No doubt there. But without hard work you will never maximize all you can do.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Hustle isn't just running fast to cover bad routes to the ball.

    It includes getting to the ball-park first to hit the batting cage and review tape. It includes spending extra time with the batting instructor when you are in a funk. It includes taking extra in-field practice if needed. It includes hitting the weight room when you'd rather be driving your new Porche.

    I've never figured out why some here don't care for hard work.

    You gotta have the tallent. No doubt there. But without hard work you will never maximize all you can do.

    Hustle and hard work aren't the same thing.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Hustle isn't just running fast to cover bad routes to the ball.

    It includes getting to the ball-park first to hit the batting cage and review tape. It includes spending extra time with the batting instructor when you are in a funk. It includes taking extra in-field practice if needed. It includes hitting the weight room when you'd rather be driving your new Porche.

    I've never figured out why some here don't care for hard work.

    You gotta have the tallent. No doubt there. But without hard work you will never maximize all you can do.
    "Talent may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there."

    John Wooden

    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds

    Or steroids.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: The Cincinnati Mentality and the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro View Post
    Hustle and hard work aren't the same thing.
    True, I guess, to a point.

    If you strictly define hustle as "running as fast and hard as you can". Sure, if you narrowly pigeonhole the concept into that framework they are seperate ideas.

    However, I appreicate a player who works his tail off and gives his all to it's full extent (doesn't mean I want a team full of them, or that energy might need to be used wisely to avoid causing more harm than good).

    I find people who are supreemly tallented but only use 2/3rds of that tallent and coast the rest of the way distastefull. (which, by the way, in no shape, form or fashion does that comment have anything to do with our favorite left-fielder from Texas).
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 08-01-2007 at 05:13 PM.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate


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